Flagship scheme ‘needs rapid reform’

Have your say

The Government is paying too much money, too easily, on apprenticeship schemes, leading to “excessive” profits being made at the public’s expense, according to a new report.

A committee of MPs said urgent reform was needed for apprenticeship programmes to succeed, so that workers and employers could be better served. The Business, Innovation and Skills select committee said the Government should outline a formal definition of an apprenticeship, to state clearly that they are aimed at developing skills.

“Without clarity, there is only confusion. Confusion as to what the Government is trying to achieve, what apprentices should be focusing on and what employers should be offering,” said committee chairman Adrian Bailey. “An apprenticeship programme without a clear strategy and purpose will not achieve its goals. But it will be open to abuse. This needs to be addressed.”

The committee, which held an 11-month inquiry, said the Business Department should explain the impact of funding on different age groups because places were not just for young people.